Crake Heaven

To: Birding-Aus Mail <>
Subject: Crake Heaven
From: Ian Montgomery <>
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2001 12:18:11 +1100
Last Sunday I checked out Hospital Swamp which is part of Reedy Lake on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria south east of Geelong.  I checked out a nearby marshy pool beside a reedbed and was soon rewarded by the sight of a Buff-banded Rail.  After a while a pair of AustralianSpotted Crakes appeared.  This seemed promising, so I collected my scope and camera from the car and returned.  Not long after a pair of Baillon's Crakes joined in.  While I was watching one of the Baillon's a Spotless Crake (tick) wandered by.

The pool, perhaps 10m across, was less than 10m from the path so I had excellent views of all the birds through the scope.  The Spotted and Spotless Crakes stayed in the reeds but I managed to get a good photo of one of the Baillon's (which I'll post to Birds-Pix) and a couple of indifferent ones of the Rail.  I was there in the evening, which was rather overcast, from about 5:30 to 7:30.

To find the place, travel on the Barwon Heads Road from Geelong towards Barwon Heads.  Turn left into Baensch's Lane, about halfway to Barwon Heads, and continue down the lane.  Eventually you will reach a cross roads with a stop sign.  This is Lakes Road.  Continue along the lane on the other side of Lakes Road where the it degenerates into a grassy track.  Perhaps 500m from Lakes Road, the track ends at the bottom of a little hill and there is a sign saying Hospital Swamp Game Reserve or something to that effect.  Continue on foot over the gate in front of you (not the other gate to the right) which has a sign saying Maintenance Vehicles Only.  From the gate you can see the reedbed crossing the path about 100m away.  The pool is on the other side of the reedbed to the left of the path.

Happy spotting,  Ian

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